Fragile Conservative

Politics and social media are a terrible mix. I wonder if it doesn’t at least partly explain why politics is increasingly polarized. Let me give you an example.

This morning I visited a Facebook group called the National Conservative News Network Canada. Despite its name, it’s not a news network in any sense. It’s merely a group inhabited by a bunch of people who hold strong opinions and don’t want to hear any others. I visited because of a particular graphic that forcefully told the reader that all flags in the country should immediately be flown at half-mast for sixteen days, one day for each of the Humbolt Broncos hockey team members killed on Friday in Saskatchewan.

As you might imagine, the suggestion created quite a discussion. One group felt that lowering the flag is best limited to when members of the Canadian Forces are killed on active duty. The group owner, who favours the flag-lowering for the hockey team members, tried to invalidate that position by pointing out that Prime Minister used his executive privilege to have the flag lowered for his “good pal” Gord Downing.

Until this point in the discussion, I had no real skin in the game. However, when a person championing an action for the respect of the dead, makes a mockery of the name of another person who has passed on, I had no choice but to jump in. That feeling only increased as there were three other instances of the group owner making reference to Gord Downing.

I replied, pointing out that given his respect for the dead, the least he could do is spell Gord Downie’s name correctly. He came back with a graphic of the Peace Tower flag schedule indicating it was lowered in honour of Gord Downie. I looked up and saw he had corrected his mistake, trying to pass of my comment as an error on my part. Facebook labeled his post as having been edited, and clicking the “Edited” indicator, he correct the spelling three minutes after I pointed out the error. In reply, I suggested that it was a simple error, and he should simply own it, rather than correcting it and pretending he made no mistake. Hell, it was likely an autocorrection error he missed. Be an adult and admit it!

Hours later I checked back and found that the group owner had banned me from the National Conservative News Network Canada. This banning also deleted all my comments and any replies.

So rather than a discussion area, the group owner has gathered around him people who think just as he does and parrot the same opinions. Anyone who raises a dissenting voice is summarily silenced. It’s a fragile ego indeed who can’t accept a spelling correction! Is it any wonder people can’t discuss politics or religion any more without things getting out of hand? These jokers have fashioned echo chambers where everyone allowed in agrees with them. How can they ever learn reasoned discourse?

But the real kicker? The image you see to the right is the profile image attached to the National Conservative News Network Canada Facebook page. They seemed to have missed the warning against having one’s own opinions, voicing them, or even having <gasp!> an original idea … never mind something as minor as pointing out a spelling error of significance.

The cognitive dissonance is strong in this one.

No more daylight saving time

I wrote my MPP a couple of days ago:

From: Rick Pali
To: Wayne Gates
Sent: Monday, March 12, 2018 6:01 PM
Subject: DST

Wayne, it’s time to ditch daylight saving time. How can we make this happen? The two time-changing events each year are simply not worth the benefits we get in exchange…

Rob Nicholson has made me accustomed to no response or having to fight to get one, so I was delighted to receive a reply today:

From: Wayne Gates
To: Rick Pali
Date: March 14, 2018 at 5:45:30 PM EDT
Subject: RE: DST

Hi Rick,

Thank you so much for reaching out to MPP Gates on this important issue, and for sharing your concerns with MPP Gates. He had an opportunity to review your email, and has added your concerns to his notes on this file.

As you may know., NDP MLA Thomas Dang in Alberta recently introduced a Private Members’ Bill to abolish Daylight Saving Time in Alberta. He is currently leading a public consultation on this bill across the province. He has received widespread support from families with young children and members of the agricultural sector. I can assure you we will continue to follow this issue.

Kindest regards,

Shannon Mitchell
Constituency Assistant – Casework Manager
Wayne Gates MPP (Niagara Falls, Niagara-on-the-Lake and Fort Erie)
Critic for Transportation

I’m glad I wrote because I knew nothing of Thomas Dang and his Private Members’ Bill. He ran a survey1 and 82% of the 26,000 recipients wanted daylight savings time to end. I absolutely believe that. I’m not sure I know anyone who would be sad to see it go. The most ridiculous issue2 people have raised is the start time of hockey games. Save us from the pox of sports.

The only possible issue is some areas considering dumping the change like the idea of staying on DST all year rather than maintaining standard time. In effect, they’re moving one time zone to the west. If most or all states, provinces, and territories stop changing from standard time to DST and back every year, those areas staying on saving time are going to mess things up. I suspect they’ll also revert to standard time eventually.

I hope the results of the public consultation are positive and Alberta makes the change. Then I hope we in Ontario quickly follow.


  1. Michelle Bellefontaine, “‘We need more time’: Alberta bill to end daylight saving time on hold,” CBC News. April 3, 2017
  2. Daniel Stilwell, “Alberta Daylight Saving Time bill to get further study,” Global News. April 5, 2017

Politician: FAIL

Here is a tweet from my Member of Parliament:

What’s worse is that this post is typical of his tweets and Facebook posts. Does he tell his constituents what he’s doing for them? No. He’d rather take shots at the party in power. So he’s giving us what he thinks are reasons to not vote for them the next time an election rolls around. What he seems not to realize is he’s not giving us any reason to vote for him.

He’s simply perpetuating how voters typically vote against candidates and parties rather than vote for them.

I’ve tried to spur conversation by adding comments like, “So what have you been working on for us lately, Rob? Anything?” and I’ve never received a reply. In fact, I’ve never seen him reply to anyone. This all despite his claiming he set himself up in social media to stay connected with his constituents.

He’s utterly clueless about how social media works. He also seems unclear about the ‘representative’ part of representative democracy. Getting replies out of him, regardless of the medium, is not easy. Even then, it’s usually of no substance whatsoever.

Rob Nicholson acts as if he represents his party first, and his constituents last. So disappointing.

Politics and stupid

Malcolm Turnbull, 2016

Lord save us from the politicians who know not of what they speak! Today’s proud entrant is Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. He seems to believe that if the government could get into all the encrypted messages his people send, all would be well. According to the Independent, he ratchets up the rhetoric:

When challenged by a technology journalist over whether it was possible to tackle the problem of criminals using encryption – given that platform providers claim they are currently unable to break into the messages even if required to do so by law – the Prime Minister raised eyebrows as he made his reply.

“Well the laws of Australia prevail in Australia, I can assure you of that. The laws of mathematics are very commendable, but the only law that applies in Australia is the law of Australia,” he said.

So there you have it. A politician who claims that the laws of mathematics do not apply in his country.


DoD photo by U.S. Army Sgt. First Class Clydell Kinchen.

Inauguration, or …

The writers at the Scottish Sunday Herald wrote up their television listings with a gigantic dollop of awesome sauce. This is their description of Trump’s inauguration:

After George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) wrote on twitter, “The Sunday Herald TV Section wins today,” LisaD (@BlackDogsRule) insightfully replied, “With all due respect to The Twilight Zone, this is basically an episode of Black Mirror.” So true, Lisa, so true.